Most people don’t realise that common day-to-day practices, such as sitting for long hours in a chair, especially at work, are one of the main reasons for the occurrence of back pain, and some people can develop even chronic back pain due to bad practices at work.
Main causes of back pain
The main causes of back pain include:
- Exerting too much pressure on the back (e.g. by moving heavy objects)
- Repetitive movements at work
- Inactivity- sitting for long periods of time
Another common reason for back pain is poor posture. Hunching over while sitting, sitting down for several hours, lifting heavy weights, twisting inappropriately, and even sleeping on a bad mattress can cause postural stress.
Any of these actions place a lot of pressure on the spine and can lead to various health issues, including an increased risk of back pain development.
What mistakes are you making that may affect your spinal health at work?
Most of us have bad postural habits that put a strain on the back and ultimately cause back pain, such as:
- Looking down at the cell phone, desk or a book. When the head leans forward, it puts extra strain on the back muscles of the upper back and neck. This issue is often overlooked because it might not cause any issues in the short term, but if done repeatedly, it can have highly negative effects on one’s posture.
- Rolling forward of the shoulders. If the chair is too soft and does not provide enough support, we are bound to suffer from a muscle imbalance.
- Elbows too far away from the body. This can result in an improper posture if done for long hours, as in a desk job, and make one more prone to suffer from back pain.
- Tilting the head on the side while holding the phone. People tend to talk and work at the same time, trying to multitask. This posture is also very common and can lead to back and neck pain.
- Prolonged sitting. When we stay sedentary for long periods of time, the blood supply to our muscles is reduced. As a result, less oxygen and nutrients are received by the muscles.
How to get rid of the pain?
Here are few tips to help you manage back pain and even get rid of them:
- Consult the health and safety practices provided by your workplace to find out what can be done to improve your posture in that particular environment and prevent chronic pain.
- To get instant relief, try alternating between ice and heat fomentation. Use ice packs or ice wrapped in towels and apply for a few minutes on the area causing pain.
- Engage in regular exercise. There are various activities that you can do to reduce back pain, such as Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi. If you opt for one of these, make sure you start with the easiest moves and then slowly progress to the tougher ones.
- Adopt a healthy diet. Getting the adequate nutrients as well as maintaining a healthy body weight are important to reduce the risks of developing back pain.
- Adjust the height of your chair in your office so that your arms are properly placed on the desk to reduce strain to your back or neck. Consider using an ergonomic chair to facilitate good posture.
- Pay attention to your posture while you’re sitting at your desk and try to correct a slouching posture.
- Use a device for lumbar support to prevent back injuries and reduce the chance of developing lower back pain (low back pain).
- Use an orthopaedic device such as the Backrack to decompress your spine and free yourself from pain: